Kona Commons preparing for new tenants

  • Genki Sushi is one of several shops at Kona Commons to undergo construction. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Genki Sushi is one of several shops at Kona Commons to undergo construction. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • Dairy Queen is moving its location within Kona Commons. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The former Sports Authority is under construction, creating six retail spaces. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

  • The former Sports Authority is under construction, creating six retail spaces. (Laura Ruminski/West Hawaii Today)

Despite much of the world being on hold amid the COVID-19 pandemic, workers have been busy refitting the former Sports Authority location at Kona Commons for its new tenants, including Old Navy.

Since December, the entire front of the 40,000-square-foot building has been reconfigured, and six leasable spaces created, Kona Commons spokesperson Katie Kaanapu said. In addition to the leasable space is a new management office and storage room for tenants.

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“We have made great progress on the former Sports Authority space and work continues uninterrupted and on schedule,” said Kaanapu.

Management expects to turn over the space to tenants in July, at which point they can start their own improvements for opening.

“Old Navy and our other tenants which we have been working with but not yet able to announce, are all still on board and on track for their openings,” said Kaanapu. “We are currently in discussions with three additional tenants to complete the new area.”

Old Navy remains on target to open in late 2020, she added.

The Kailua-Kona location will be Old Navy’s fifth store in Hawaii, and the second on Hawaii Island. The retailer opened a 15,600-square-foot store at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in January 2016. There are two locations on Oahu and one on Maui.

Kona Commons opened in fall 2008. It comprises the 160,000-square-foot Target store, which opened in 2009, and the 130,000-square-foot first phase kitty-cornered and bound by Makala Boulevard and Queen Kaahumanu Highway. Sports Authority closed in 2016.

As construction continues on the old Sports Authority location, Dairy Queen is preparing to move from its current spot mauka to a vacant space next to HIC Kona. Kaanapu added Dairy Queen will be opening very soon.

Genki Sushi also continues to move forward with its renovation, she said. The restaurant will introduced in late July its new sushi delivery system called the “bullet train” that brings sushi directly to a customer’s table.

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Kona Commons has also launched a new program to help its tenants and employees call the Aloha Service Program.

“This program aims to improve customer service through connecting service to ‘living Aloha’ and traditional Hawaiian values. The program also provides job skills that can be utilized in any employment setting,” said Kaanapu. Kona Commons has also been using social media to provide the community with uplifting and fun, family entertainment such as a Virtual Family Dance Party held on Thursday. Follow @konacommons to stay informed.

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